29 MILES EAST OF 'THE STORK'
New York's baseball moguls (at least in the National League) seem convinced that the town has no future; its Thoroughbred racing executives are still thrashing through costly difficulties in an attempt to bring the city a modern "dream track." But no such doubts and difficulties seem to afflict harness racing. Last week the harness set moved into the new $18 million Roosevelt Raceway—the first new track for New Yorkers in half a century. Located on Long Island, 29 miles from Times Square (and from such other nighttime institutions as "21" and the Stork Club), the new track is dedicated to the proposition that the New Yorker and his lady will willingly cover a distance of ground to spend a sporting evening in an atmosphere of nightclub comfort. In addition to such essentials as an illuminated half-mile track, grandstand and clubhouse accommodating 50,000 and 440 betting windows, the Raceway offers four restaurants, 13 bars and a triple-decked lounge known as the Cloud Casino.
On opening night the Raceway drew a crowd of 35,000, including a goodly representation of state and national celebrities (right). The Raceway was delighted to have the celebrities, possibly even more so to have a full house of plain old-fashioned harness racing fans. ("You should see the lines at the betting windows," one Cloud Casino visitor told his partner. "The dungaree set has taken over.") With ample parking for 14,000 cars, Roosevelt was easily outdrawing nearby Belmont Park. As if planned, the winner of the feature race on opening night was a horse called Razzle Dazzle.
Whirling around clubhouse turn, pacers follow canopy of light into backstretch.
August 11, 1957
Beaming New York Governor Averell Harriman watches Mrs. Robert Lehman as she intently studies program in Cloud Casino. Harriman later presented trophy to winner of the opening feature.
Concentrating Songstress Eileen Barton, fiancé Vic Jarmel scan entries over drinks in third tier of Cloud Casino.
Cigar-Lighting General David Sarnoff of Radio Corporation of America was one of first-night celebrities watching races.
FRANCE AT 100°
The Tour de France, a 2,800-mile bicycle race which runs its brutal but glorious course for 24 days, providing all France with the extravagance and flaunty drama it has loved since Bonaparte, began this year under a fierce June sun which turned its route into a fillet of melting tar. On the third day, "The Angel of the Mountains," favored Charly Gaul of Luxembourg, fell off his machine, sick from the 100° heat. "The Angel's wings fluttered so pitifully," mourned a French newspaper. A week later the heat got to another favorite, Spain's Federico Bahmontes. A teammate begged him to go on. "For your wife," he implored. "No," said Bahmontes. "For Spain." "No," said Bahmontes. "For Franco." "No," said Bahmontes, mounting an ambulance. Along with drama of this order there was the extravagance, reflected in a list of food consumed by the average Tourist. Among the comestibles were 440 prunes, 10 pounds of jam and 15 liters of wine. On the 21st day, the remaining 58 cyclists (out of 120 starters) rode finally toward the Paris finish, "united in their lassitude, having endured their private hell as valiant athletes." The winner: 23-year-old Jacques Anquetil of France (above).